This is an opinion piece.

I don’t fish as much as I once did, but I have fished for most of my life.  I’ve caught all kinds of fish, as well turtles, lizards, frogs, tadpoles before they became frogs, and even a few snakes.  I have enjoyed catching any kind of fish, but my favorite is the large-mouth bass.  Strangely, and much to my surprise, I caught my largest bass while fishing for bream.

Recently, a friend of mine told me about his most unusual fish tale.  I’ve seen fish catch fish.  I’ve even fished for fish with fish.  I’ve even read in the Bible about the time when a fish caught a man.  I once had an old tomcat that used to try to catch fish by the edge of the pond.  My friend told me about the time when a bass caught a chicken.  I know, chickens don’t live in water.  They won’t even get in water, unless a mischievous young boy helps them get in.  I’m just saying. 

So, how then does a bass, who can’t live without being in water, catch a chicken?  Well, first of all, the bass was not that kind of bass.  Actually, he wasn’t even a fish.  He was a boy and Bass was his name -   Lehman H. Bass Jr.  Much like I wasn’t actually fishing for bass when I landed my big one, Leh Bass wasn’t trying to catch a chicken either.  He was doing what we call dry fishing. 

He was casting in the yard.  He might have caught a bass, had there been one in the grass, because he was casting a plastic worm and bass love them.  Had he caught one, that would been the time a Bass caught a bass.  Instead, it turned out to be the time a Bass caught a chicken.  As you may know, chickens love worms too, and much like a fish, they don’t know the difference between a real worm and a plastic one.  Leh reeled in his catch. 

I’m sure that chicken put up quite a fight, perhaps more than any fish Leh had ever landed.  Leh knew he had better free that chicken before his grandmama caught the boy who had caught one of her chickens.  The problem was that the chicken had swallowed that worm…hook, line, and sinker, as they say.  Leh tried his best to remove it, but all he managed to was break the line.  The chicken ran off, and so did Leh.  Perhaps, Leh thought that would be the end of that.  Actually, it turned out to be the end of that chicken. 

I guess chickens don’t digest plastic worms with hooks very well.  When Leh’s grandmama found a dead chicken in the yard, she didn’t know what had happened to it, but there was no sense in letting a perfectly good chicken go to waste.  Even if it wasn’t Sunday, the Bass family was going to have fried chicken for dinner.  Most grandmothers back then knew how to dress a chicken, cut it up, and cook it.  When Leh’s grandmama performed an autopsy on that chicken, she discovered the cause of death.  I’m not sure if Leh ate any of that chicken that night or not, but if he did, he most likely did so while standing! 

Sometimes, when we cast out in the wrong places, so to speak, the results may not be what we intended or wanted.  It has been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…or in my friend’s case, a pound of fish or chicken!  

Bill King is an author, musician and native of Rainsville. Visit for more.

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